Help! My Baby is Teething!
Five Facts About Teething That Every Parent Should Know
There’s nothing cuter those first little teeth popping through and nothing more confusing than the process of cutting them. Teething describes the way by which your infant’s first set of teeth come through the gum and it’s a pretty big part of the parenting journey for the first few years. Often associated with world famous fussiness and a battery of mysterious symptoms, teething can make life hard for your whole household, but the more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to keep your cool through all the drool. Here are five facts about teething that every parent should to know:
Smile! Your Baby Is Born With 20 Teeth.
No, she’s probably not going to grin at you with a full set of pearly whites right there in the delivery room but your little’s teeth are fully formed by the time she’s born, they’re ready and waiting just below the gum line. A few lovely littles, about 1 in 2000-3000, might surprise their parents with a natal tooth present at birth. Natal teeth are adorable, but according to the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, they may need to be removed if the tooth is loose or if they cause trouble with feeding.
Timeline? What Timeline!?
For most nuggets the first official nibbler shows up between 6-12 months of age, but like all of the other milestones, there’s a very wide range of normal. Parents shouldn't worry too much if they’re making a birthday cake smoothie when the end of year one rolls around, but if your little is still rocking the gummy look by age 18 months, the AAP recommends a visit to the dentist.
Teething Bites But … Not Too Hard
Getting teeth isn’t all fun and games, but it also isn’t as terrible as us parents sometimes make it out to be. According to a 2000 study by the Departments of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, mild symptoms such as increased biting, drooling, gum rubbing, sucking, irritability, wakefulness, facial rash, decreased appetite for solids, and a mild rise in body temperature can all occur around the time (normally an 8 day window) when a tooth erupts. More serious symptoms, including congestion, sleep disturbance, loose stools, vomiting and a fever over 102 are reportedly not associated with teething and may warrant an afternoon adventure to your pediatrician.
Misery loves company and so do molars! Teeth usually arrive in pairs so when that first little pearl pops up take a breath and brace yourself for the next one.
Here’s a look at a typical schedule (remember, it can vary though!) so you can stock up on baby Tylenol and wine:
When It Comes To Cures, Chews Carefully
When our littles are hurting it’s normal to want to help but parents need to use caution when deciding how to manage discomfort caused by teething. The FDA advises against homeopathic teething tablets after a 2017 lab analysis revealed elevated levels of belladonna, which has been reported to have adverse effects on some young children. Safety tested teething toys (used under proper supervision), gum massage, and baby acetaminophen are all great ways to ease pain and give parents peace of mind.
Mamas, Papas, Peanuts - You got this! For more information on teething visit the American Dental Association’s awesome online resource: